By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Dec 29, 2014 at 2:30 PM

MKE Sports & Entertainment and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee have announced a partnership to build a multi-purpose, 4,000-seat outdoor baseball stadium in Oak Creek by 2016.

The facility would not only host the UWM baseball team, but will also house a new, independent league baseball team, along with outdoor entertainment and community events.

"We are now in need of improved space for competition," said UW-Milwaukee Director of Athletics Amanda Braun in a statement. "It’s difficult for a Midwest NCAA Division I program to compete in the recruiting game without a stadium. We are the only Division 1 baseball program in the state and have one of the country's best coaches in Scott Doffek and his staff. It’s amazing what he has been able to do with so little and I look forward to the day he is able to have all of the recruiting tools other Division I programs have. "

The facility, which will include club and VIP seating, suites, lawn seating, beer gardens and a kid zone, will feature an artificial surface.

It will also be designed to accommodate professional outdoor soccer. 

In a statement, MKE Sports & Entertainment owner Mike Zimmerman said "For this to work we need a strategic cohort of supporters and of course a forward-looking city. The fan base for baseball and stadium based entertainment is certainly there. Whatever city we end up finalizing terms with will see significant economic benefit."

MKE Sports & Entertainment owns and operates the Milwaukee Wave, Rockford Aviators, Kokomo Jackrabbits, Jamestown Jammers and The Rock Sports Complex and has many corporate sponsors.

The Panthers baseball program will continue to utilize Henry Aaron Field as a practice facility and get a synthetic surface upgrade, per the terms of the deal with MKE Sports & Entertainment. All games will be played at the new stadium.